Journey To Success: Stage or Not

The big weekend is here!! Summit 2015 in Nashville, TN has arrived and over 20 thousand Beachbody coaches are in attendance! Crazy and a bit scary, if I can be honest! 😉

My plans, as you are most likely aware, were to compete on stage with many other Coaches who have trained and followed the meal plans to reach the goals that warrant award ceremonies. Perseverance and dedication are just a few of the practices and mindset needed for this type of training. Life has so many ups and downs, vacations and weekends, celebrations and time to let go of our “shoulds”….but for competitions of this nature, that is not an option unless you decide you’re not that committed.

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Well, I do have to say that I am 2 weeks shy of the last phase of Body Beast. The meal plan proved challenging at times but the higher calorie range helped my intense hunger while I was building muscle and dropping much needed fat stores. There were days that my body felt as though it wouldn’t be able to complete another rep or set of an exercise (especially BUILD LEG day!) but the decision to stick to the end was the ultimate goal and I wouldn’t waver or let myself off the hook with any type of mental “loophole”.

*sidenote: I’ve been reading Gretchen Rubin’s new book, “Better Than Before” and she dives into mastering everyday habits for success and I will be sharing many points of interesting info that I’ve been learning and actually implementing into my life since I’ve become obsessed with the tips and strategies she teaches.

Anyway, the point of this blog post is to celebrate those who are competing this week in Nashville. Best wishes to all who worked their butts off (quite literally, I might add!) and dealt with cranky mood swings, deprivation of carbs, sore muscles, waning motivation and more. I know we are all winners in our hearts, minds and families. This is not something to casually give a round of applause to..this is about changing EVERYTHING we know about being comfortable, happy, lazy and sometimes just care-free. This style of training takes a mental shift like no other “fitness or weight loss” program. So stand up and give a huge round of applause to those who are walking across the stage; tanned; donned in swimsuits; barefoot or high-heeled. I know I will be leading the applause because I understand the commitment.

The difference in my results are not in the commitment level (because I will complete these final 2 weeks of the BEAST) or the fact of my accomplishment; but only in the fact that I cannot be in attendance in Nashville this weekend to join those who are celebrating their success and hard work. Like I mentioned earlier, life has it’s ups and downs and unfortunately, I was unable to travel to Tennessee this weekend for personal reasons but I am there in heart and spirit and I am completing my journey at home.

I will share my before and after. I will celebrate my success. I will be proud of what I have done and what I will continue to accomplish in new goals along the way. Would this be devastating to most? You bet! And I was no different when I had to make the difficult decision to change my travel plans at the last minute. But what I value most is the learned behavior to NOT complain; not make excuses and not stop pushing for more. I am proud of the accomplishments I have made so far; and will continue to make in the next two weeks – and more.

It’s not about a “FINISH LINE” when we create goals and challenges for ourselves. It’s about reaching a level of success and then renewing and finding another level to achieve. This is just a small (yet disappointing) road bump; but I know there is a light at the end of this goal and there will be another road ahead.

I thank you all for your support along the past few months and the encouragement to keep going because without that I may have decided this was all for naught. I know better and I want to challenge you to look at the next disappointment you encounter in your life; the visions that change shape or roads that take a slight left turn instead of a right turn and make it into your new success reality.

Don’t ever give up and don’t ever let yourself get caught up in negativity and disappointment. Turn that frown upside down (as cliche as it sounds) and make a new goal for yourself. I am going to surprise everyone again and will be open to the next opportunity that comes my way.

Until then, get up and get your workout in!

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Who Wants ABS? (or maybe I should just ask who doesn’t to weed out the non-committed folks!) :)

IMG_0953This is for all the beautiful people who have been dreaming and wishing and hoping to one day have a sexy midsection! Is that YOU?? I am pretty sure it’s most of the population! LOL

When it comes to creating incredible abs, even the most effective workout programs can only bring you so far. That’s because you can’t get a flat, hard midsection without losing body fat. No matter how much effort you put into creating a six-pack, no one’s going to see it if it’s covered by a layer of flab.

Seriously, I know! I’ve worked out so intensely and so often that if this was a proven method, I’d have had a six pack for most of you reading this today! 😉  But, alas, foods are the KEY to getting those abs to POP!

If you’re following the dietary guidelines of a fitness program, you’ll automatically be eating the right foods to lose fat as you get in shape. But the following seven principles can give you an extra edge, and will help ensure that the effort you’re putting into your abs will bring you the results you want.

1. Get plenty of protein
Eating enough lean protein promotes fat loss and muscle gain, the two most important elements for developing great abs. It also helps keep you from getting hungry while you’re eating right. You don’t have to gobble down 12-ounce steaks—just eat a normal portion of lean meat, fish, low-fat dairy, or vegetarian protein with every meal, and make sure your snacks contain some protein, too. If you still have a hard time getting enough in your diet, a daily Shakeology shake can be a perfect addition.

By the way, protein is especially important in the morning, when a lot of people don’t get as much as they should. A protein-rich breakfast will help keep your blood sugar steady for hours, preventing the dips that can lead to cravings later in the day. (Try some low-fat chicken sausage, or an omelet with one whole egg and three egg whites, along with fruit or whole-grain toast.) Tell me how much protein do YOU get each day? I see and talk with so many women who DON’T bcuz they think it will “bulk” them up….

NOT! Get that protein in yo face asap! 😉

2.Reconsider your carbs.
Despite the popularity of low-carbohydrate diets, the average American meal is still too high in sugar and fast-burning starches to bring body fat down to ab-baring levels. It’s time to say goodbye to sweetened soda, ditch the Doritos, and save the cake for your birthday. DUH!  If your fitness plan calls for a sports drink before a long cardio workout, or a carb-and-protein recovery drink after resistance training, that’s fine. But the rest of the time, stick with foods that are on the low end of the glycemic index (refer to GlycemicIndex.com for more information)—these foods burn more slowly, so they won’t spike your blood sugar and insulin levels.

3. Have fun with fiber.
Something about the word “fiber” just doesn’t sound appetizing. But high-fiber foods can actually be quite delicious: fresh berries and other fruits, salads loaded with colorful produce, your favorite steamed vegetables or vegetable soup, stews or chili made with beans, chewy whole-grain breads and cereals…You get the picture. (These foods just happen to be loaded with nutrients as well.) High-fiber foods keep you fuller with fewer calories, and they help keep your digestive system working at its best—a double-whammy for getting rid of belly bulge. And “double-whammy” is such a fun word to use that I encourage you to try it out a few times this week!

4. Enjoy some yogurt.
Probiotics, the healthful bacteria found in yogurt and other fermented foods, have been proven to help reduce belly fat. In a recent study in Finland, new mothers who took probiotic supplements averaged smaller waist circumferences—and lower body fat in general—than those who didn’t take probiotic supplements. And while the topic is still controversial, studies have found that eating lots of calcium-rich dairy foods like yogurt may increase overall weight loss. It’s why I eat Greek yogurt and drink my Shakeology DAILY!!

5. Don’t forget to eat.
Tempted to lower your daily calorie count by skipping meals? Don’t. Seriously, I cannot tell you how many women tell me that they don’t know why they aren’t losing weight; since they only eat maybe 1 time a day!!! EXCUSE MOI??????

Going hungry can raise your levels of the stress-related hormone cortisol, which research has found can increase belly fat even in otherwise thin women. And eating too infrequently can lower your metabolism and energy levels, while increasing the chance that you’ll get too hungry and decide to chuck your meal plan entirely. If you’re eating the right foods, regular meals and snacks will keep your body fueled while you’re working toward that strong core. You MUST eat!!! It’s the ONLY way! 😉

6. Drink more fluids. Hydration is important when you’re on a fitness plan, but drinking plenty of water has particular benefits for your midsection. It helps keep your stomach full, so you don’t overeat, and it helps flush out excess sodium to prevent belly bloating. (Eating more potassium-rich foods, such as tomatoes and bananas, will also help in this area.) Plain ol’ H20 can’t be beat, but you can also switch it up with flavored waters, iced tea, and anything else you like to drink that isn’t full of sweeteners. How much do you need? The old rule of 8 glasses a day is a good start, but everyone is different: drink more if you’re exercising or it’s hot out, and drink less if you’re running to the bathroom every 5 minutes.  I will challenge you to drink the recommended amount for fit individuals; 1/2 your body weight in ounces!! So for someone who is 150 lbs; they would need to drink at least 75 oz of water every day! Or a gallon if you are really up to the challenge!

7. …With two exceptions.
It’s time to cut down on those mood-altering substances, coffee and alcohol. Too much caffeine raises your cortisol levels and can impair your sleep, which can lower the production of fitness-promoting hormones. Meanwhile, the proverbial “beer belly” isn’t just the result of extra calories—alcohol actually makes it more difficult for your body to metabolize carbs and fat. Booze also stimulates your appetite and lowers your inhibitions, which can lead to bingeing. The best road to flat abs is no alcohol at all, but if you really like a drink now and then, just have one at a time (and no more than a few a week), and stay away from higher-calorie beers and sugary mixed drinks. Something to seriously consider especially over the weekends, am I right or am I right? (you are SO smart! lol)

If you add these rules to your fitness plan, you’re sure to see faster improvements in your midsection. Of course, there’s an added bonus to eating this way: it’ll keep you healthier, too. That may not be as big an inducement as great abs, but that’s just  for free.

Do you need an added incentive? I have a BUSY MOM’S support group starting first of the month and welcome you to message me today for info on joining. You can succeed and have time for your family AND save money along the way! All thrown in for extra bonus!! 😉

Email me at: http://www.spazzykay@gmail.com

Are You Struggling Today?

It’s amazing to me when I hear people assume that if you don’t complain or talk about your struggles; that you must no have any.

BULL!!! 

Our struggles are our stories!!! Embrace them and learn to grow from them.  That is your message to the world around you.

In keeping with today’s topic; I will share some of mine…

I am a very happily married woman of almost 20 years to my amazing hubby.  Do you think that it’s been bliss ever since the day we said, “I Do”???

FAR FROM IT!!!

…and to those of you who are, or have been married know that it would have been a complete lie for me to say otherwise.

We started out as your average “happy” young couple with dreams of a family life, successes, growing in our faith and many blessings.

While I can’t say we aren’t enjoying all of these today, it sure has not been “easy” in any respect.

Which reminds me of a joke my son told us this summer;

“Why did the washing machine stop working?…. Somebody threw the towel in…”

=D =D =D

We all have struggles and if we stick with what needs to be done consistently; we can work our ways through them and come out stronger than ever. This doesn’t mean it’s a great idea to complain to everyone around you or share all over social media about your issues…

Because there is such a thing as an “unfollow” button and that will get pressed if you make complaining a habit. Instead, act as though everything is going great and your reality will become so. You have more power over your progress and success than you know.

My point is that although life has had it’s share of ups and downs for us, we never gave up. We kept refocusing on helping each other and moving forward in the best way we could understand at the time. There is no fairy tale life. There is no perfection for anyone. I know we will continue to have our struggles but without them, we wouldn’t be as happy and as strong as we are today. My hubby is my best friend and I know he has my back just as much as I do, his.

But you have to get a little bit (sometimes, a LOT) uncomfortable before you feel proud of where you’ve come from…

Let’s focus in on the happy parts of today!

Is it Graduation Season yet???

Whoa! It’s been awhile since I last posted and I realized I left you hanging with my “panic disorder” announcement….

Did you think my issues went array??? Not so much! I’m back and I’m so glad to be here…although I really hadn’t “gone” anywhere to tell of. I just have a busy life, just like you do, and have to really plan my tasks accordingly or the day (aka; my kids and hubby) “eats” it all up before I get a chance to realize it.

Yes, I ended about my panic disorder and how that has definitely brought me to where I am today and giving me an awareness that I know I would never have had the patience to understand. We all fight our “inner demons” and battles; large or small.  We all have the same choice to either lie down and let it beat us; or stand up and fight like you’ve never fought before…

And you WILL win!

This is an example I want to instill upon my children. Yes, I tell them quite often that they need to be strong; stand up for what they know is right; think in a positive light; etc…but there is nothing better and more lasting than good ol’ experience!

Take for instance, my 18 year old daughter. She has been through a lot of moving around while attending high school.. and mind you, high school is ONLY 4 years!!! But we have been in and out of the country many many many times and let’s just say it hasn’t done well for her school credits…as a whole.

Now, don’t think for a second that I am complaining, because I am most definitely NOT! (although I’ve heard through the grapevine that many have thought my writing about our recent moves were negative…NOT!)  I am thankful for everything our family has done. I know that it has taught us so much and it continues to do so. My children have experiences that will last them their entire lives and we have all come together as a family in a new way completely.

Back to my daughter and her less than stellar high school credits. The first time we withdrew her for our overseas adventure, she was a freshman in high school and we left just prior to year end finals. Although we had returned soon enough and re-enrolled her back to her previous school; she was starting off the year behind the rest due to the fact of final scores missing.

The second time we decided to move, she missed more than a semester and although we tried to enroll her in school overseas, it proved to be far too complicated due to the last few years of high school and the credits needed to graduate at her level. (that just means she would have had to attend school overseas for an extra year or more to catch up to their standards and obtain their assignments and scores). She has re-enrolled one more time this past January and let me tell you, this girl is a trouper!!!

OMG!

Seriously, her counselor helped her tremendously (and we could never have done it without her help!!); she assured us that my daughter would indeed earn her diploma this school year but also warned us of the work load that was to come.

And she wasn’t kidding…

It seems like she went into overdrive starting this past January and hasn’t stopped since. In fact, the work load just continues to INCREASE as the time ticks closer to graduation day. But, it isn’t deterring my daughter from her goal of graduating with her class. And I could not be more proud as a mother. Talk about a lesson of life and commitment!!

She wanted to graduate with her friends and since it was such a deep desire within her, she has decided to give up (for now anyway) time with her friends on the weekends, staying up late/sleeping in late, and just acting like a “normal” teenager. She has decided, instead, to start up a workout program with me and follow the meal plan that is included. This is NOT a “diet” but a way to follow the best guidelines for her meals, food choices and portion sizes.

All in all, I have to say that my daughter has become my hero of the moment. I don’t know many people who would do what she is doing and with a great energy and drive that I know will help her continue into her early adulthood following her graduation ceremony.

This serves as a lesson for us all.  She took a difficult situation and made a solid decision to see it through to the end.  Are you able to do something this challenging without wavering and throwing in the towel; for a reward at the end of the struggle? I know I’m pushing harder these days because of her 😉

and guess which parent will be sobbing like a baby on May 28th at a local high school graduation? And I will do it proudly…and maybe without mascara!!! 😉

 

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Motivation; Do You Have It?

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Motivation

I am frequently asked how I stay motivated.

Motivation is a deeply personal thing. It’s important to realize that what motivates ME might not motivate YOU. Find something that makes you feel alive and excited.  In case nothing leaps out at you, here are a few things to consider!

  • Set goals for yourself. When you’ve achieved them, reward yourself with something like a massage, a manicure, a new workout outfit or clothing (something other than food).
  • Think about how great you feel after your workout is completed. That is motivation in itself and usually my very FAVORITE part of my workout! 😉
  • Think about how wonderful your body will look and feel if you stay consistent. Keep that image in your mind and put your efforts into achieving it.  If needed, post pics of inspiring bodies that you are looking to achieve so you can see every day for motivation.
  • Watch videos of your favorite competitors training or competing! (This is one of my favorites).
  • Create a motivational collage of quotes and images and keep it somewhere where you can see it regularly.  This is usually called a “dream board” and can be done on a simple white board (cutting and pasting the collage) or a cork board and just pin the pics and quotes into it.
  • Set your phone background as your favorite motivational quote and set little reminders for yourself so you don’t lose focus.
  • When you’re feeling discouraged think about how far you’ve COME instead of how far you have to GO!  Positive reinforcement!
  • If motivation begins to wane, make a checklist of all the things you’re thankful for, the things you’ve achieved so far and the things you hope to achieve through continued hard work. Focus on the positive!

Kick negative thoughts to the curb. You CAN do this. You have to believe in yourself. “Whether you can or you can’t, you’re right”.  A recent fave quote I read is; “Rule #1; You must take another step.  Rule #2; If you can’t take another step; refer to Rule #1.”

 

*TEASER:  I am going to launch a challenge of all challenges.  Details to come in a blog post this week!  Subscribe to get it sent to you!